Here in the final installment, the focus is on those players who might add important depth in the infield and outfield.
Russ Adams 2B
Once upon a time, Aaron Hill and Russ Adams were going to be the Toronto Blue Jays' double play combination for years to come. While Hill has been a solid contributor, Adams has struggled to consistently put the ball in play.
Playing at Triple-A Buffalo, the left-handed hitter slugged .473 and hit 16 home runs in 2010. Unfortunately he appears to be a strict platoon player. The former North Carolina Tar Heel hit only .095 against southpaws last summer. Adams has 884 major league at bats and 17 career major league home runs.
Matt Brown 3B
Once upon a time a masher of left-handed pitching, Brown struggled at Triple-A during his first season in the Texas Rangers organization. Originally drafted by the Angels, the 28-year-old has 134 career home runs in 1000 career minor league games. In 2008, he was selected to the US Olympic Team.
Ray Chang 3B
The Kansas City native was named an Eastern League mid and post season all-star. A versatile fielder with good defensive instincts, Chang was named the Eastern League's top defensive third baseman by Baseball America. The 27-year-old hit .298/.384/.436 during 2010.
Chang was a member of the Chinese national team during the World Baseball Classic. Playing shortstop, he homered and drove in two during China's first-ever WBC win over Taiwan.
The versatile fielder played second, third, short and the outfield in the Seattle Mariners' system in 2010. According to a report out of Puerto Rico, Cardinals minor league manager Luis Aguayo has come away very impressed by him and has alerted his employers to Dominguez' winter league play (hat tip Josh Jones). In 57 at bats for Carolina of the PWL, he is hitting .368/.410/.561 after posting a line of .221/.288/.336 at Double-A and Triple-A last summer.
Eric Duncan 2B
Another infield prospect, Eric Duncan is a former first-round pick and top prospect of the New York Yankees. Most recently a Braves' farmhand, the 25-year-old played 84 games at second base for Mississippi where he hit .267/.323/.396.
The only catcher on my list represented Team Canada at the 2008 Olympics. The 27-year-old would provide solid defensive depth at Memphis after the team cut ties with Matt Pagnozzi. The left-handed hitter posted a line of .267/.334/.383 during stops at Double and Triple-A with Texas.
Ryan Garko 1B
With over 1,500 career major league at bats, Garko could be an interesting bat off the St. Louis bench. Garko has a career line of .275/.347/.434 before turning 30 years of age. Like Brown, Garko struggled at Triple-A Oklahoma City and slugged only .379. Against left-handed pitchers, he is a career .302/.382/.476 hitter.
A favorite of mine since seeing him play with Nashville several years back, the 26-year-old is coming off a solid season at Triple-A Oklahoma City. A middle infielder who is capable of playing some outfield, Iribarren appeared in 12 games for the Brewers in both 2004 and 2005.
In over 2,800 minor league at bats, the Venezuelan is a .308/.365/.412 hitter.
The big man (6-foot-4 and 240 pounds) is currently slugging .442 in the Venezualan Winter League after slugging .496 with 26 home runs at Triple-A Nashville. The former Virginia Cavalier hit three home runs in 38 big league at bats in 2008 but has not sniffed the majors since. In 854 career minor league games, the 28-year-old has 183 home runs but also has 959 strikeouts.
The 28-year-old is coming off a season in which he hit .296/.364/.469 at Colorado Springs. He looked like Texas' third baseman of the future after hitting 37 home runs in his first two professional seasons. Along with third, Metcalf played some second base in 2010. In 217 big league at bats, he has a line of .249/.300/.475 with 11 home runs.
The slick fielder with exceptional range and arm strength made news in 2010 after hitting two grand slams in the same game for Oklahoma City (Texas). He ended the season with a line of .251/.316/.342 at Triple-A and is currently playing in Venezuela. In 19 winter league games, the 25-year-old is reaching base at a .364 clip.
A teammate of Cardinals' farmhand Curt Smith on the Dutch World Baseball Classic squad, Statia was a once-promising prospect in the Angels' system. During an injury riddled 2010 campaign, the 24-year-old hit .260/.349/.320 in 30 Triple-A games.
Wes Timmons 3B
Playing at Triple-A Gwinnett (Atlanta), the 31-year-old reached base at a .400 clip while serving as his team's primary third baseman. Playing now in the Mexican League, he is hitting .350/.409/.400 in 20 at bats. Timmons could serve as solid depth at Triple-A Memphis.
Jason Dubois OF
The 31-year-old has spent seven seasons in Triple-A . During 2010, he hit 20 home runs and slugged an impressive .632. Now playing in Venezuela, the 2000 Chicago Cubs' draft pick is hitting .274/.346/.507 in 22 at bats. With La Guaira, he was named the league's player of the week earlier in November after collecting 12 hits for a .667 average. Dubois made his major league debut in 2004 but has not seen big league action since 2005.
Matt Miller OF
The 2010 Pacific Coast League All-Star hit .325 at Colorado Springs including a line of .336/.396/.455 against left-handers. The 2004 draft pick would make interesting competition for Allen Craig in the right field platoon competition. Miller is a career .313/.379/.466 hitter in over 800 minor league games.
Wily Mo Pena OF
With a waist line as long as his tape measure home runs, Pena has not been a productive big leaguer since 2006. Even so, reports are that there could be up to five teams interested in the 28-year-old. If he still possesses the raw power that earned him big league service time, a spring training invite would not be too farfetched.
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